Author/Narrator Stephen Schochet researched Hollywood and Disney stories and lore for 10 years while giving tours of Hollywood. He had the unique idea the stories could be told anywhere and that’s what led him to create the critically acclaimed audiobooks “Fascinating Walt Disney” and “Tales Of Hollywood”. Here he shares some stories that happened while he was actually giving tours:
On one tour I pointed out the Fox Plaza, the building that was blown up in the movie Die Hard. A tourist asked me “How did they put that building back together so fast?”
* On the tour we stop at Rodeo Drive. The people were returning to the bus after their visit and Steve Garvey came walking by. A life long Dodger fan I said,” Hi Steve.” Happy for the recognition, he came over to meet the people on the bus. Unfortunately, the entire group was from England and Germany and not a single person knew who he was.
* The day after OJ Simpson was arrested, I was doing a tour where we stopped in front of the Chinese Theater. My customers were looking at the handprints and footprints, while I stretched my legs near a row of parked tour buses. Two men, one with a filming camera approached me. “Hi We’re from CNN. Are you a tour guide? We would like to interview you about OJ.” “Sure.” “Great. Roll the camera. We’re talking to a Hollywood tour guide. So did your customers ask you today about OJ’s house.” “Well today my people are from Romania. They are here for the World Cup. I don’t think they care about OJ.” “Well will you be adding OJ’s house to the tour?” “Probably not because he lives west of the 405. We go east of the 405 and we are so pressed for time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have some guys who point at any old house and claim that it’s OJ’s!” I was kidding but the reporter took me quite seriously. “So tour guides do that do they? What tour company do you work for?” I thought, who does this guy think he is, Mike Wallace? I pointed at one of the buses owned by a rival tour company.
* When I first started training as a tour bus driver I rode with other guides to see how they did it. One guy, unfortunately did not endear himself to the customers with a patter of stale and sometimes sexist jokes. At one point he showed the Hollywood Sign, and told the tragic story of actress Peg Entwistle, who unable to succeed in the transition from stage to screen, jumped fifty feet to her death from the top of the letter H. He finished the tale with the tagline,”Of course the last person to jump was a tour guide who didn’t get tipped.” There was a pause and then an Australian customer from the back of the bus shouted out,” Oh yeah? Well there’ll be another one tomorrow!”
Stephen Schochet is the author and narrator of the audiobooks Fascinating Walt Disney and Tales Of Hollywood. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch says,” these two elaborate productions are exceptionally entertaining.” Hear realaudio samples of these great, unique gifts at www.hollywoodstories.com.